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Insecurity: What Jonathan Must Do, By Northern Leaders

Shake Up Entire Security System, Not Just IGP — ACF

•  Only Govt Can Initiate Dialogue With Boko Haram — Mohammed

•  Time To consider State Police Option — Shinkafi

•  To Preserve Unity, Sect Must Be Stopped Decisively — Umar

WHILE the cloud is still not clear on where and how the Federal Government and the insurgent Islamic Sect Boko Haram would commence the proposed dialogue, some northern leaders are getting exasperated with government’s seeming duck-footed approach and prevarication on the matter.

The clear position from eminent citizens from the North, including the preeminent northern political group, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, seems to challenge government to deal decisively with the issue.

In separate interviews with The Guardian, the consensus clearly is that government, with its might and control of the security apparatus cannot continue to offer excuses on why it has not yet tamed Boko Haram.

At its latest meeting in Kaduna, the ACF, had thrown a challenge to President Jonathan to carry out total overhauling of his security team, saying changing the headship of the police force, would not be enough to tackle the threat posed by the Boko Haram sect, and related violent crimes in the country.

“ACF notes the well advertised changes made in the Nigeria Police Force for better services. However, in view of the widespread ineffectiveness with which current security challenges are being tackled, the Forum calls on government to extend similar re-organisation to all other security agencies, especially the intelligence community”, stated the Forum, adding:

“We call on the government to be more proactive, more decisive and engage in less lamentation,” stated the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting”.

The organisation was, however, critical of the massive deployment of armed security operatives in the affected states in he wake of the declaration of state of emergency in the several local councils that had experienced violent actions of the dreaded sect.

In a separate chat with The Guardian, Chairman of the Forum, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, claimed that his organisation, and ostensibly northern political leaders, does not  know about the forces behind Boko Haram to broker any dialogue between the sect and government. Rather, the ACF wants government to make real its pronouncements and get to work on the security challenges posed by the sect.

“If you remember, the President and the Commander in Chief of our federation made a pronouncement in public that he knows those who are Boko Haram, that they are in the government with him, they are in the military and in his executive council; as well in the police, even in the judiciary. That ought to make things easier for Mr. President to help the North and ACF.”

Mohammed said it is only government that could create the environment for others to participate. “We can only broker peace, we do not have any instrumentality to investigate; but if the government has spoken publicly, we are ready to bring these people out so that we can now assist the government.”

Former Director General of the defunct National Security Organisation (NSO), Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, wants government to direct attention to strengthening law enforcement, with a focus on reforming the Police. According to him, the present structure of the Force no longer has the capacity and integrity to deal with emerging security challenges.

Urging the government to place premium on intelligence gathering rather than violent confrontation, Shinkafi said “Today, more than ever before, the potency of intelligence gathering and dynamic pro-active engagement in combating crime is assuming greater consequence over the previous emphasis on numerical strength and fire power”.

Alhaji Shinkafi, also joined his voice to the call for State Police structure as panacea to tackling criminality in parts of the country, saying there is the need for “devolution of command and operational capacity to the state level, being closer to the towns and cities that are the theatres of criminality. The need for such strategic restructuring has also been identified in dealing with public apathy to providing vital information to police, thereby, giving tacit cover to criminals and their nefarious activities.”

For Dr. Aliyu Tilde, a former lecturer at Usman Danfodiyo University, government can no longer claim helplessness in dealing with a minute sect of lawbreakers. According to him, government should deal with it squarely and move on to more concrete issues of development.

He said, “It is unbelievable to see how a government in a digital age would fail to apprehend a few thousand insurgents and their leaders who are using GSM freely to coordinate their activities and communicate with local and international press; how it will fail to prosecute arrested members of the group; how it will refuse to apprehend its known sponsors and associates; etc.

“It must be noted that so far, of all the thousands arrested, only one person has been prosecuted. He was quickly given a laughable jail term of three years only. This kind of evidence goes a long way to prove that there is a deliberate attempt on the part government to sustain the crisis.”

In similar vein, former Governor of Kaduna State and Chairman of Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP), Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), yesterday warned against calls by Southern Leaders that their people in the North should vacate the region following attacks by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

Umar, in a three-page statement issued in Kaduna yesterday, said any mass exodus of Nigerians from the north, or south, to their places of origin would amount to working into the plans by Boko Haram to promote the dismemberment of Nigeria, a situation which must be resisted by patriotic Nigerians”.

Umar warned that with the exodus, “Boko Haram’s ambition of creating a climate of fear, terror and panic ahead of their plan to re-invent Nigeria, seem close to reality”.


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Posted by on Feb 5 2012. Filed under Latest Politics, North-Central, North-East, North-West. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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